Flag lighting is easy, low maintenance and looks great, if approached with a little forethought. This article will review what you should consider when lighting a flag. First you need to answer a few questions.
- How tall is your flag pole?
- How far away can the light fixtures be placed from the flag pole?
- Will the flag lighting be used occasionally or every evening?
- Will the flag lighting be hit by irrigation system water, snow or heavy rain?
- Will the light fixtures be hit by debris from mowers or weed whackers?
How Much Light is Needed to Light a Flag?
The amount of light required for flag lighting varies depending on the ambient light around the flag. A flag located in a rural area will stand out against a dark sky using less light than a flag in an urban area with lots of other light. The flag in the urban area will need more light to make the flag stand out against the night sky.
How Many Light Fixtures Are Needed for Flag Lighting?
Proper flag lighting typically requires two or three light fixtures. Only one light fixture will be directional and could cause dark shadows on the flag depending on the direction the flag is waving. Two or three light fixtures provide light from multiple directions reducing or eliminating shadows from the flagpole. Light emitted from three directions will eliminate flagpole shadows.
How Many Lumens and What Beam Spread Are Needed for Flag Lighting?
The lumens required to light a flag depend on the setting, rural or urban, the height of the pole and the size of the flag. Pole height is typically 3 to 4 times the length of the flag. A 6’ flag would be appropriately mounted on a 20’ to 24’ tall flagpole. The flag size also determines the diameter of an extended flag in any direction and the pole height. A 6’ flag would extend 6’ in any direction, thus you need to illuminate a 12’ diameter. You may use the data below as a guide. For commercial applications, you may want to speak with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist.
- 15ʹ flag poles – 1500 to 2500 lumens and a 20° beam spread
- 20ʹ flag poles – 7,000 to 10,000 lumens and a 20° beam spread
- 25ʹ poles require a spot beam spread (35˚-60˚) and 10,800-27,400 lumens
What is the Best LED Fixture for Flagpole Lighting?
Without a doubt the best LED light fixture for flagpole lighting is the APTA. Why? The most frequent reason that sign lighting and flag lighting fails, is the glass lens breaks or the plastic lens cracks. Water infiltrates the electronics and the fixture fails. APTAs do not have any glass and the LEDs are protected by metal cladding. APTA is built out of die cast aluminum for maximum durability for impact from anything. Also, APTA features built-to-order optics for the most appropriate optics for your application. Click HERE for the APTA spec sheet.
- Vandal Resistant – Cast aluminum frame, die cast aluminum slip fitter mount and metal cladding over the LEDs to minimize vandalism.
- EXTREME LIFE – LEDs are rated L70 @ 200,000 hours meaning virtually no maintenance. If maintenance were ever to be required, parts are available and are field replaceable.
- IP67 Rated – Submersible rated for protection against water damage. If it is hit by a stream of water such as that from a hose or irrigation system, APTA will not be affected.
How Close or Far Should the LED Fixtures be Installed From the Flagpole?
While there are no hard and fast rules, typically the two LED flag lights would be mounted at a minimum of half the length of the flag away from the pole and as far as a flag length away from the flagpole. Check out the pdf on the right for an example featuring a 29’ pole.
How Do You Install Flagpole Lighting?
All lighting including flag lighting should be installed and maintained by a licensed electrician.
15ʹ flag poles – 1500 to 2500 lumens and a 20° beam spread
20ʹ flag poles – 7,000 to 10,000 lumens and a 20° beam spread
25ʹ flag poles – require a spot beam spread (35˚-60˚) and 10,800-27,400 lumens
Commercial Installation Recommendations:
- Use a 2” SCH 40 galvanized pipe set in cement extending at least 4” above the cement
- The conduit to power the light fixtures should come up through the galvanized pipe
- For maximum durability use light fixtures with a slip fitter mount
- For light fixtures with a knuckle mount, use an SLYP Tenon Top Fitter
Residential Installation Recommendations
- The commercial installation recommendations are best
- For knuckle mount fixtures you may use a STEK Heavy Duty Ground Stake
Questions? Access Fixtures lighting specialists are ready to answer your questions.
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